She was hesitant to give it to him, but her vodka-induced courage spurs her on. Right before he leaves the office, she calls his name and smiles embarrassedly as he strides over.
Here, she says quietly. Merry Christmas.
He smiles warmly and says thanks. Their hands brush and linger for a few seconds longer than necessary. Her stomach ripples, and she smiles a bit wider and whispers Don’t open that one until you’re alone.
She winks and then blushes drunkenly. He just laughs and waves goodbye.
She waits in her little receptionist chair and closes her eyes, praying for her Christmas miracles.
He fingers the small box, so square in his pocket. He tries to concentrate on the things that Karen says, but that weight in his pocket keeps distracting him. He wants to open it right away, but equal parts fear, hope, and obedience keep him from doing so.
After two hours, he can hardly contain himself. Karen takes his fidgeting for a sign of something else and places her hand on his thigh under the table. He smiles wanly and makes up some excuse to dash home.
She is perturbed but cracks a smile when he kisses her hand. She stays behind to chat to Kelly and Ryan who have just come over. He waves hellos and then goodbye as he hustles to be alone in his car.
Not a moment is wasted; he closes the door and rips the paper. In the small box, he beholds a snow globe. He plucks it out of the box and marvels at its heavy weight and smooth dome. He turns on a light overhead and spots two figures inside. They stand in a strikingly familiar setting: a clunky office space. The tall one sports a dark sweater and shaggy brown hair, the short one an iridescent blue dress and curls. They pose intimately with fingers entwined and lips pressed together tenderly.
He is awestruck and nervous at once. The artistry makes him hold his breath and the meaning behind the gift makes him dizzy. He tips it once, twice and watches as white snow and pink hearts fall around the figures. He wipes away a tear and notices a note in the bottom of the box.
He carefully places the snow globe in the passenger seat and unfolds the single sheet of paper to read it. Soon it joins the snow globe as he cranks the car and pulls out of the parking lot.
She hears the knock on her apartment door and hopes it’s the pizza guy. He stands there, and she gasps both from the cold and him. Before she can say a word, he’s holding her close and kissing her so hard that she sees stars.
Without a single word said, she takes his large hand in her small one and leads him in. As the door clicks shut, they both know that tomorrow there’ll be explanations to make, plans to share, and problems to resolve, but for now it’s Christmas.
And it’s all they could ask for.